Graphical excellence as a service

Today, XBRL is used to meet reporting obligations. But for real benefits from XBRL-based information, companies have to invest rather in Data Analysis (“Big Data”) than in Data Collection.

 

Following the old Chinese wisdom "A picture is worth a thousand words", Data Visualization is the key – because it refers to the graphical resp. pictorial/diagrammed representation of information. This method helps to understand huge amounts of data and to gain precise insights even from many terabytes. Studies show that the human brain is able to interpret and understand visualized data (e. g. charts or graphs) much faster than data listed conventionally in a tabular way.

 

Our ultimate objective is to communicate key aspects of complex datasets effectively in an intuitive manner – with the purpose of facilitating deep and accurate insights. Today, steadily as well as swiftly growing amounts of data become available and must be analyzed. Therefore managers, CEOs and regulators at all levels need visualization software which provides quick intelligibility with best possible precision – but without any unnecessary complications or over-simplifications.

 

 

Web Service for the Standardized Visualization of XBRL Statements

 

We develop software solutions in order to visualize financial XBRL statements (e. g. as to Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet or Cash Flow). Therefore we have generated a visual language in full consideration of already existing notation concepts. Regarding this, our work has been influenced by the ideas resp. definitions of pioneers and international experts such as Prof. Dr. Rolf Hichert and Edward R. Tufte.

The visualizations of our solution are inspired by the International Business Communication Standards (IBCS®) which are proposals for the conceptual, perceptual and semantic desgin of comprehensible business reports and presentations.

Example

  • Standardized visualisation of an Income Statement (Profit + Loss)
  • Comparison of actual financial data with previous year data
  • Presentation of absolute and relative deviations

 

This data visualization is optimized by notation rules. It has got:

  • clearly readability by the color reduction, line and axis alignment, surface optimization
  • unadulterated expressiveness by the true scaling
  • comprehensive information concentration by the previous years' comparison, exhaustive visualization

Application Interface

The application interface of our visualisation service consists of a simple HTTP Post request. The response is a plain multipart message containing all generated charts. As a precondition you need to be a registered user of our online demo. The URL of the request is

 

https://www.chartsunited.org:8181/xbrlvisualizer/chartxbrl/{PL, BS}/type0{1,2,3,4}

 

You can try out either PL or BS. PL stands for profit&loss and BS for balance sheet. In the case of BS any further URL segments are dismissed. The content of the request consists of your username and password together with the XBRL file. An example of a valid XBRL file can be found here. A possible sample code for java looks something like:

 

HttpClient httpclient = HttpClients.createDefault();

HttpPost httppost = new HttpPost([URL]);

// Request parameters and other properties.

HttpEntity entity = MultipartEntityBuilder.create()

.addTextBody("email",your_email)

.addTextBody("pwd", your_pwd)

.addBinaryBody("name of company", new File([path_to_xbrl_file]),ContentType.APPLICATION_XML, "name of company").build();

httppost.setEntity(entity);

//Execute and get the response.

HttpResponse response = httpclient.execute(httppost);

 

As a response you get back a multipart entity, which you obtain from the response object.

 

entity = response.getEntity();

 

You can use a Scanner object or any other technic to extract the different parts from the multipart entity.

Valid XBRL instance files are restricted to schema files according the example xbrl for this demo purpose. You may use any other compliant xbrl instance files.

If you encounter any problems please contact techsupport@chartsunited.org.